Philosophy of Science 72 (4):557-583 (2005)

John Earman
University of Pittsburgh
Laura Ruetsche
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
A number of arguments have been given to show that the modal interpretation of ordinary nonrelativistic quantum mechanics cannot be consistently extended to the relativistic setting. We find these arguments inconclusive. However, there is a prima facie reason to think that a tension exists between the modal interpretation and relativistic invariance; namely, the best candidate for a modal interpretation adapted to relativistic quantum field theory, a prescription due to Rob Clifton, comes out trivial when applied to a number of systems of physical interest. However, it is far from clear whether this difficulty for the modal interpretation is traceable to relativistic invariance per se or to the infinite number of degrees of freedom involved. In any case, the proponents of the modal interpretation have work to do.
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DOI 10.1086/505448
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Modal Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics.Olimpia Lombardi & Dennis Dieks - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Entropy - A Guide for the Perplexed.Roman Frigg & Charlotte Werndl - 2011 - In Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Probabilities in Physics. Oxford University Press. pp. 115-142.
Why Be Normal?Laura Ruetsche - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (2):107-115.

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